Goals from Ricky Gundry and Justin Ascheri gave Chatham Town their first victory of 2017 as they won 2-1 away to Walton Casuals.
Liam Smith had a shot on target in the first minute, and only two minutes later Ascheri saw a shot go narrowly wide. The next twenty minutes were played mostly in the middle third, but Jon Difford brought the game back to life on 29 with a long range shot which was well saved. In what remained of the first half Ascheri and Jordan Gallagher both went close, and a fine save from Casuals keeper Gerrar kept Chatham out from a corner.
The game was goalless for an hour, but that changed after an unusual incident in the Casuals penalty area. Gundry got a toe to a loose ball and sent it towards goal, and then set off to run around the out of position keeper to get the final touch. But he didn’t get the chance, because Gerrar performed a rugby tackle to send Gundry sprawling to the ground. It would have been an obvious penalty and the keeper could easily have seen the red card – but the referee played advantage and the ball trickled into the net.
Seven minutes later, and it was two. Chatham won a free kick two feet outside the penalty area, and the Casuals defence lined up expecting a shot. But in a move that must have been developed in training, Austin Edwards did not shoot. Instead, he played the ball across to the other side of the penalty area, where Ascheri was waiting to blast it into the net.
Walton Casuals pulled a goal back within two minutes though, well taken from a narrow angle, and Chatham had their backs to the wall for most of the final twenty minutes. Debutant Chatham goalkeeper Lewis Lawlor did well to save a shot from close range, while two good runs down the left wing by Gundry and a Jordan Gallagher cross which went within inches of finding the head of Josh Bray were Chatham’s best efforts in that closing period.
Eight minutes of added time were played, and for most of that time it was Casuals who had the ball. But they could make nothing of a free kick inches outside the area or a series of corners, and the final whistle eventually blew to give Chatham a well deserved win.
|Jordan Gallacher||Yellow Card|
|Leonardo Mazzone||Yellow Card|
|Liam Smith||Yellow Card|
|Louis Lawlor (GK)|
|Alex Hyde (GK)|